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Hyperion Records

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Ŕ l'ombres des bosquets chante un jeune počte by Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier (1815-1891)
Reproduced by permission of The Wallace Collection, London / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA66856
Recording details: January 1996
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Arthur Johnson
Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Release date: January 1997
Total duration: 1 minutes 24 seconds

'This is the most resounding blow yet to be struck for the mélodies of Saint-Saëns … Le Roux is one of the most charismatic performers of our time … this is certainly one of the best things he has done so far. A double welcome for performers and rare repertory' (Gramophone)

'Musical jewels surface with delightful consistency in this 27-song recital. An absorbing and revelatory disc' (BBC Music Magazine)

'There's hardly a dud among these 30-or-so songs on this well filled, perfectly recorded disc, an ideal accompaniment to a hot summer evening' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Another immensely pleasant recital from Hyperion, both in content and performance. [François Le Roux] is establishing himself as the leading French baritone of the day' (Classic CD)

'François Le Roux est l'interprète prédestiné. Son intelligence des mots, son sens de la juste inflexion font ici merveille' (Diapason, France)

'Apoya magnificamente al baritono, firmando entre ambos un trabajo auténticamente digno de conocerse. Sonido exemplar' (CD Compact, Spain)

Guitare
First line:
Comment, disaient-ils
composer
1851
author of text
Les rayons et les ombres (No 23)

Introduction
This is another poem set by Liszt (under the title Comment disaient-ils) although the song by Bizet (also Guitare) is probably more famous; there is also an estimable setting of the words by Lalo. In 1851 the sixteen-year-old Saint-Saëns shows a great deal of flair: interesting points are the accelerando for the pianist in the opening bars that gives the song an air of improvisation, and a wide-ranging vocal line which climbs the stave impetuously, covering the distance of a tenth in a single dramatic gesture at ‘Fuir les alguazils’.

The song is dedicated to the composer Augusta Holmès to whom it was said that the composer was attracted, although one can scarcely imagine this celebrated Amazon in conjunction with the frail long-nosed youth.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1997

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